Monday, September 9, 2019
Cassette Review //
(Already Dead Tapes)
Edition of 125 //
"Home" begins with these delicate acoustic guitar plucks which create melodic chords. There is a Beatles-like beauty within this. You can feel this sort of droning darkness start to build behind it and then it just kicks into this heavy, distorted guitar part- kind of like Black Sabbath- and the drums and bass kick in to where this is post hardcore or just straight up metal, but either way it's just flat out rocking now like one of those stoner bands.
The longer this goes on, the further you drift into the trippy void. Guitars come through like post rock now and this one just rips. There is an element of skate-rock to this as well, in the sense that you could make it the soundtrack to a skateboarding video. This whole first song now just seems to be coming crashing down, the way tires squeal as you hit the brakes after driving over 88 miles an hour. It sort of just fades out.
A steady drumming comes in next but it sounds so urgent. Tones come in like "Doctor Who" and there is an alarm sense to this- like we've gone somewhere we're not supposed to go- and then it just kind of picks itself up just to fall back down. Deeper guitar notes go back and forth with higher pitched ones and this song has a sense of fun to it. The song just kind of rides up at some point and then rides off and is done.
Tones come on now which have a video game sense to them, a little like the X-Files and they get into this eerie space. This is a bit more haunted of a song and the notes begin ringing through, just echoing, and it's a song which just seems to cut through more than the songs before it; it's sharper. I'm looking at Bandcamp now and this cassette, in terms of song length (roughly) goes: 10 / 4 / 2 / 4 and then 4 / 4 / 10 / 2. That's kind of cool, from a numbers standpoint.
We come in from a crawl next and just build to these fast paced guitar notes which have a definite hardcore feeling because of the pounding drums. Distorted almost-metal riffs come out as well and this has that punk/metal feel to it for sure, but also on a video game playground. At times this song can feel slow and lazy- just certain notes in it make it feel so relaxed, but that chaos and punk feeling remains behind it all to the point where you'll wonder when to stop and catch your breath.
The flip side opens up with these acoustic guitar strums which sound like "Desperado" but then it also combines these heavily distorted chords, which I like to think of as adding mayhem to the beauty. Acoustic guitar notes are plucked now. Another wave of distortion washes through and we are cleaned out for the next song.
Beats bring about these funky synths and then that distorted guitar line drives through like something along the lines of Muse or, yes, once again I will go back to that Doctor Who idea I think I mentioned on the first side (though if I didn't I think I thought it) This is somewhat trippy as well, the looping making it feel hypnotic. Notes in a row bring some groove and harmony behind this all as well.
We go next into this droning type of sound which rises up and can make the guitar sound like an organ. This keeps pushing and pushing and it has this jam feel to it. I want to call this chamber-punk and then at times though it can also sound like a video game, something from the old SNES days or even the arcade as it just makes me want to start up Tekken or Double Dragon. Then the melodic strums come through. They go back and forth between distorted and clean and this is on some Hendrix level.
Drums crash in and I feel like this is somewhat metal here, but it is also just driving, it is a destructive force. While this song just feels like such an anthem, where you want to play it out of the speakers of your car as you drive over everything in your path, it goes into this acoustic guitar part next which is much softer and minimal. From acoustic to electric, quiet to loud, this cassette is a grand demonstration of what a guitar can do and as such I really think everyone should be paying attention.